TU names new athletic director
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Thursday, March 21, 2013
3/21/13 at 10:42 AM
Related story: This time, Gragg gets the Tulsa AD job.
Derrick Gragg, Eastern Michigan University's athletic director since 2006, has accepted an offer to become the University of Tulsa's new vice president and AD.
An introductory news conference has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at TU's Reynolds Center. While his official Tulsa start date is May 1, Gragg begins work almost immediately on university matters.
"Everyone knows that this is a great opportunity and a great university with a lot of success," Gragg said by telephone. "It's a job that a lot of people would be interested in, as evidenced by how many people applied for it."
There were more than 200 applicants for the Golden Hurricane AD position. Applicants were instructed to submit information first to Carr Sports Associates, a Gainesville, Fla.-based search firm. Based on the criteria expressed by TU when the opening was posted on an NCAA website, Carr Sports recommended candidates who became involved in the interview process.
The University of Tulsa had been without a full-time athletic director since Dec. 4, when Ross Parmley was fired for having misled university President Steadman Upham about Parmley's alleged gambling on college football and NFL games. TU is awaiting the results of an NCAA investigation into Parmley's alleged gambling. Officials have expressed the belief that there will be no sanctions.
Kevan Buck, TU's executive vice president and treasurer, has been the acting athletic director since Parmley was dismissed.
"We feel that Derrick's history of integrity and excellence is well-suited to manage those issues and keep our university and its athletic program moving forward."
Parmley was promoted to the job only 10 months before his firing.
In a statement issued by TU, Upham said, "We are extremely pleased to announce that Dr. Derrick Gragg will be joining TU as our new director of athletics. Our search committee was presented with an impressive field of applicants for this position, and Derrick stood out as an exceptional candidate.
"TU has seen several key changes in the past year, and a handful of questions remain with regard to NCAA compliance and conference realignment. We feel that Derrick's history of integrity and excellence is well-suited to manage those issues and keep our university and its athletic program moving forward. He will be an enthusiastic and dedicated leader for Golden Hurricane student-athletes and their coaches."
Gragg also was quoted in a university press release: "I am very excited to accept the position of director of athletics at TU. It is a wonderful opportunity to lead a program of this caliber. The university's combination of academic and athletic success dovetails perfectly with my own personal and professional core values.
"My family and I are eager to become an integral part the Tulsa community and the TU family."
A Huntsville, Ala., native and former Vanderbilt wide receiver, the 43-year-old Gragg was a University of Arkansas associate athletic director in 2000-06. During the '90s, he served as a compliance director at the University of Missouri and the University of Michigan.
In 2009, the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) presented to Gragg its national Administrator of the Year Award.
With a 2012-13 enrollment of 4,326, TU is the smallest school competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision classification. TU also is a private university and not obligated to divulge salary information. It is not known how much Parmley was paid as TU's athletic director.
According to Tulsa's 990 form, an Internal Revenue Service form filed by tax exempt organizations, Parmley's predecessor, Bubba Cunningham, earned $413,883 in reportable compensation and another $33,038 in additional compensation in 2011.
When a new athletic director is in place, TU can more aggressively resume its bid to raise funds for the construction of an indoor practice facility. At Eastern Michigan, Gragg oversaw the development of a $3.9 million indoor facility.
Hometown: Huntsville, Ala.
- Gragg and his wife Sanya are the parents of 19-year-old daughter DeSha and sons Avery, 16, and Phillip-Raymond, 12.
- In 1988-91, Gragg played wide receiver for the Vanderbilt football team. As a senior, he was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
- In 1992, he graduated from Vanderbilt with a degree in human development.
- During the late '90s, he graduated from Wayne State (Mich.) with a master's degree in sports administration.
- In 2004, he earned his doctorate in higher education from the University of Arkansas.
2006-13: Eastern Michigan University, athletic director
2003-06: University of Arkansas, senior associate athletic director
2000-03: University of Arkansas, associate athletic director
1997-2000: University of Michigan, assistant athletic director for compliance
1995-97: University of Missouri, director of compliance and operations. Chairman of the Big 12 Compliance Coordinators Group
- BILL HAISTEN, World Sports Writer
Original Print Headline: TU athletic chief named
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397